why does my cat yowl when she hunts ?

by Gina
(Fair Oaks CALIF. USA)

My cat has a stuffed rat and when ever she gets it she yowels like shes in pain. I thought cats hunted silently. Does she think its a dead kitten ? I feel like shes so upset and i dont know what it means. Shes a rescue cat. She was abused and rescued and caged at the ASPCA. She was so scared that they had to use leather gloves to handle her,that was the first 2 years of her life.Shes a brown tabby and i adopted her at 2 years old, shes 6 now. Shes still skittish but pretty much a lap cat, very sweet. She brings her stuffed rat to me day and night, sometimes i wake up with it in my bed, i call it Ratatoui and ask her where Ratatoui is, but what troubles me is she seems so upset when she hunts it, yoweling with it in her mouth as she carries it, its in her pet bed a lot,sometimes she sleeps with it, sometimes its in the hall or in the living room. I dont know if she ever had kittens, she is fixed but i feel awful the way she cries. Ive had a lot of cats but this is new to me. Any ideas ?

Thank You

Answer from Kate
No dont worry this is not distressed calling. Some cats get very excited when hunting and if they are a vocal ct anyway will often make yowling sounds when hunting. ALso she will realize that she is not actually hunting but playing and so making a noise is just part of the game.

I have had cats who hunt mice etc and are as silent as can be but when playing wth stuffed toys will act out hunting but will also yowl etc.

I know a cats yowl can sound distressing to us but it is noting to worry about. Cats often make noise for our benefit anyway and so she may just be sharing the game with you.

best wishes Kate

Comments for why does my cat yowl when she hunts ?

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by: Nora

Our cat also screams like a warcry before she hunts. Cute and strange at the same time

Proud hunter meow
by: Anonymous

Mother cats will often teach their offspring to hunt by catching prey and bringing it alive to their kittens, giving their babies something to practice hunting on. When your cat makes a big fuss about her toy "prey," she's calling your attention to it, just as a mother cat would. Perhaps she even wants to teach you how to hunt.

I know what that is like.
by: Daisy

My cat "meowls" the ENTIRE time she hunts. My cat does it to flush the mice out from under furniture when she can't reach them, to wake me up so she can show off, and to try to get her brother to lend a paw. I wouldn't worry about it, some cats are just loud. I know where you're coming from my cat was a kitten I found in my garage, but yowling doesn't always mean anything. I personally think that your cat is probably making noise cause it feels SAFE enough to. So feel proud.

Yowling cat hunting
by: Daisy

But how do you stop it. My cat "Merrrow"s at mice she IS hunting. Catches them gingerly & then lets them go & starts over. She's 13, she's done this every time there IS a mouse in my place, and when there is one the caterwauling goes on all night. Or until the mouse passes out...then she brings it to me, while I'm in bed (asleep). So in short how do I turn the cat shaped alarm off & HOW do I get her to understand she's supposed to KILL the mouse when she's caught it?

Many Cats
by: Anonymous

I have had many cats over my life. Almost all of them (male and female) have done the yowling. I believe it is a hunting thing. The yowling is like they are saying, "Look what I caught. Aren't you proud of me?"

Many years ago, at about 1am, I was in the dark on my computer doing school work (husband and kids were sleeping). All of a sudden my cat (8-weeks pregnant) was next to me doing a muffled yowling. I reached out to pet her and check to see if she was okay, thinking she had gone into labor early. The next thing I knew there was something flying around my living room. I screamed in fear and called for my husband. Turns out she had brought me a live bird she had caught.

My indoor tortie does this now almost every night but with her catnip mice.

my cat meows, before he hunts . like a war-cry
by: Anonymous

Whenever I’m out in my shed / office,our male, desexed ragdoll appears. He half - meows six or seven times loudly, and then starts to hunt. I thought that would scare the mice away, but he does it every time, it’s a bit like a warcry, if I’m on the phone, I can’t hear a thing until he stops, and he won’t stop, despite being very obedient the rest of the time…

If I had to guess...
by: Anonymous

My cat yowls when she "hunts" the toys she likes the most. It isn't distressful at all, but rather cheerful.

If I had to guess, I think it has to do with calling the other cats of the clutter to share the food. "Look, I hunted something but I'm not hungry, have fun guys!".

Hunting yowl
by: Anonymous

My cat does this, too. She's always had a loving home sonce a little kitten and is super friendly. She's had the same stuffed toy, a small red Ernie, all her life. It's a wild cry but we are just amused by her hunting.

Our cat does this too
by: Anonymous

We have a rescue cat who does this too. She was a kitten on the street, who always ran away, so we bought a trap and brought her inside. She's gradually (over a couple of years) gotten more friendly, though she still doesn't like to be picked up.

Anyway, she also yowls when she plays with a little stuffed toy. She doesn't really make noise at other times, unlike one of our other cats who often meows but never yowls.

I'm curious about why it happens too, but as the other poster said, it doesn't seem to be a distress thing. Maybe if she was still on the street, this would serve to summon other cats, who could help make sure the meal didn't escape.

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